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86

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. Shot over the course of a year, The Interrupters captures a period in Chicago when it became a national symbol for the violence in our cities. During that period, the city was besieged by high-profile incidents, most notably the brutal beating of Derrion Albert, a Chicago High School student, whose death was caught on videotape. (Kartemquin Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Sep 15, 2011
    100
    The immediacy and caprice of violence in The Interrupters are just as strong as in nearly every documentary I've seen about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 28, 2011
    100
    A stereotype-shattering movie that's full of them, and one that may permanently change the way you think about violent crime in America.
  3. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Aug 25, 2011
    90
    No concept in the critical lexicon has been more devalued and debased than "inspirational." The term has been so misused, it's just about lost all meaning. A film that makes that word real and vital has to be special. The Interrupters is such a film.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jul 28, 2011
    83
    Witnessing outreach workers intervening in these situations is inspiring enough, but their subtlety and nuance in neutralizing people of different backgrounds and temperaments is especially impressive.
  5. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jul 28, 2011
    80
    The stories in The Interrupters, a hard wallop of a documentary, may weigh heavily on your heart and head, but they will also probably infuriate you.
  6. 75
    Redemption, not crime, is the real theme here, for this handful of courageous men and women who have rescued their own lives, and just possibly may help save the blighted neighbourhoods in which they labour.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Jul 24, 2011
    60
    James captures candid counseling sessions and heated tussles with equal dynamism, but never quite earns his 164-minute running time.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Sep 2, 2011
    8
    Other than running just a little long, this is a terrific film. It makes me feel good that there are people like these very courageous and compassionate interrupters who literally put their lives on the line to change the violent behaviors of these young kids. So many vicious circles operating at the same time. The kids need jobs to stay out of violence, but the violence keeps businesses out of their neighborhoods. The kids won't have a chance without better schools, but you won't have operating classrooms while the kids are so troubled no matter how much money you pour into their school systems. If these fights are born of a 5 dollar debt, or some kid looking at another the wrong way, we don't have a chance. It's the "converted" - those who have lived that life and have established reputations for crime, experienced institutionalization, and then redemption - that can make the difference, and it just makes me feel good, again, that they're now fighting the "good" fight. Expand
  2. Jun 23, 2012
    8
    This is a documentary, so It will get boring. It is not made to entertain you, but instead provide a insightful look at the jobs of good people saving lives. The filming crew keeps the camera rolling on " the interrupters" daily lives in Chicago, and show a different city than the one we want to see. This is a good film, much so that it is only from a handful of documentaries I've seen. Expand
  3. Sep 19, 2011
    5
    The Interrupters is frustrating. The three â
  4. Aug 30, 2012
    5
    It's interesting and all but this isn't a movie, it's a documentary, and I don't know why it got such high reviews. Anyway, if you would like a direct and clear view of the crime and life of the average ghetto black in chicago, this movie is perfect. It was very interesting. Just not really a movie, with no creativity, no brilliant arrangements, just random excerpts of blacks and information presented randomly. Good content just not well done. Expand
  5. Dec 14, 2012
    4
    A difficult movie to sit through for a middle class person from the suburbs, whatever your race. No question that reducing violence in our cities is an important issue, but it can be tough to relate to people who might kill each other over a $5 debt. Much respect goes out to those people who work daily on the thankless task of reducing this violence. Expand
  6. Apr 10, 2012
    2
    Just not that interesting of a movie. A lot of stuff you have seen before - it's ex-gang members talking to current gang members about stopping the violence. Most of the time it doesn't work. The times that it DOES work, it seems like it is often on a 'potential offender' that didn't actually have much potential to offend. For example, the one 'success' story they show is a kid named 'Flamo'. Although he seems quite upset and ready to go shooting when we meet him, you have to remember that this is a kid that voluntarily called CeaseFire (the intervention agency) by his own free will, then suggests that they go for dinner together. Although he is clearly an unsavory character, I don't think he actually had murder in his heart. The concept is interesting, I just don't now if I believe that the Interrupters are that successful. Although I suppose even one life is enough to make it worth while. Nonetheless, it didn't make for an interesting two hour movie unfortunately. Expand

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